Trees as a Function of Its Environment

Trees are a product of the interplay of the physical and biological factors of their immediate environment. Light, precipitation, amount of rainfall, moisture, temperature, soil characteristics, etc. are some of the more influential physical aspects while biological factors include human activities, animal populations, invasion of exotic species, and many others. In order to grow and survive, trees have their own specific requirement in terms of these factors.

Certain species respond well either to the abundance or inadequacy of light. This can be observed in the layering of trees in a mixed forest; the understorey plants, still survive even when light is blocked by towering upperstorey-growing species. On the other hand, “sun-loving” pioneer plants dominate clearings. According to a study, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) grew best when exposed to a wider range of temperature, specifically from 27°C to 17°C from daytime to night time (cited in Fowells and Means, p. ).

In Sierra Nevada, California, where summer rains are rare, plants have higher water-holding capacities as compared to the hardwood species of the tropics. Giant sequoia trees abound in the mixed conifer forest in the said mountain range with annual precipitation ranging from 25 cm to 230 cm (Stuart, 2001, p. 13). There is an intense competition between land uses. Forests are seen as convenient sites for building subdivisions, highways, and factories, incorporating it to the urban setting (Bradley, p. 7).

The decrease in forest land will affect both flora and fauna ecosystems. Since there is a direct and unique relationship between these ecosystems, wildlife which seeks refuge in certain plants nearing extirpation or even extinction will also suffer the same consequence. An article states that bioinvasion is now the second-gravest threat to biodiversity… (p. 38) Local species possessing relatively weaker genetic pool are slowly replaced by exotic ones thus altering the natural habitat.

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